Spoke tonight at a teacher recognition banquet in Thief River Falls. It was a good group. I had a speech in mind for the past month, but altered it a bit when I got there--told some stories about Olla's teaching career as well as my Grandma's comments on the old one-room schoolhouse ("not a lot of education went on").

The highlight was a student from the local high school who played viola before the dinner. Of course, the tables were conversing loudly, as would be expected--meanwhile, this kid was sawing his way through the Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello and doing a brilliant job of it.

The Suites are some of the greatest music ever written. They really show the genius of Bach in a digestible form. The old man had to tone down his usual polyphonic excesses to allow for the limitations of a single instrument. In the process, he created a more digestible glimpse into his genius. At least that is how I see the Suites. Aside from that, they make for great listening.

The thought occurred: I should hire this guy to put on a concert at the Swamp Castle. The acoustics would be grand, I would think.

OTHERWISE, the day was one of those you wish would just end. About ten o'clock this morning, one of the guys accidentally locked a customer's keys in her car with it running while helping her load peat. That took about an hour-and-a-half to resolve. It was an innocent mistake, of course, so the first task was to make sure the employee wasn't too upset. Then it was to make sure the woman who had to stay an extra hour-and-a-half was not going to blow a gasket, and finally it was to figure out how to find somebody to fix the problem. Eventually, we called the sheriff and they were very happy to come fix it, thank goodness.

I spent part of the day annoyed at myself for taking a speaking engagement in mid-May. Next year, none. It puts pressure on the folks at home, mainly brother Joe and my parents, when I leave. I have to write this down so somebody reminds me next February when I am taking on every possible speech.